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Listening to Indians Research Guide

A guide to the oral history collection of interviews with American Indian people conducted by Samuel I. Myers, Jr., history professor at St. Louis Community College - Florissant Valley during his sabbatical semester, Fall 1975.

What's in this Research Guide?

Project Description – Details of Sam Myers’ sabbatical project called "Listening to Indians" and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant which enabled the resulting materials to be widely distributed.

“Memoirists” – Myers described the 144 interviewees as “memoirists” presumably because there was no formal structure to the interviews or rigid set of questions asked. The memoirists were guided to express their own lives and experiences, as remarkable or modest as they might have been. Memoirists are noted by name, tribe and the location where the interview took place.

Interview Transcripts – The 1976 NEH grant provided for typewritten transcription of the interviews.  A PDF of each transcription is provided in this guide.  The transcriptions were also preserved in microfiche format through a project of the New York Times, copies of which were distributed to about 100 libraries across the United States. 

About Sam Myers – Biographical information on Samuel I. Myers, Jr., his life, career and point of view.

Commentary on the Project

Preserving and promoting the lives of Native Americans through oral histories

John Furlong, Senior Manager of Campus Library and Instructional Resources, presented a paper exploring the creation and preservation of the Listening to Indians collection at the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) World Library and Information Conference held in Lyon, France in August, 2014. 

The Listening to Indians collection was featured during the April 2014 Global Gathering events on the Florissant Valley campus.

Kathleen Buescher-Milligan, assistant archivist, presented about the collection and how it came to be.  Also speaking was Rick West, son of Dick West, one of the individuals interviewed by Sam Myers. West, now the director of The Autry National Center, was the founding director of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. West's session included lively interchange with the audience of students, staff and faculty.


Buescher-Milligan and Rick West talking to an out-of-image audience

Buescher-Milligan and Rick West talk to the audience

Related Guides

American Indian Studies Guide

guide to help you find reliable information on American Indian studies.

Future Directions

We are currently working to provide more access to materials in this collection, and this guide will be updated as those materials become available:

  • Streaming audio of each interview
  • Photos of interviewees
  • Other photos associated with the project
  • Other related work by Myers


First and foremost, we are grateful to all of the individuals who gave their time and knowledge to provide these interviews.

This guide was initially created by Kathleen Buescher-Milligan, adjunct librarian and assistant archivist. Kathleen worked at the Florissant Valley campus library from 2011 to March, 2017.

This collection would not have been possible without the support of John Furlong, Senior Manager of Campus Library and Instructional Resources, and Jeff Papier, reference librarian, assistant professor and campus archivist. Dr. Myron Marty, Sam Myer's office mate, and Mary Jane Zust, who transcribed the interviews, provided important background information. Kathleen Myers Owen, one of Sam Myers' children, provided information about her father and a dynamic link to the family. Elizabeth Cash, an STLCC-Florissant Valley student, assisted with scanning the transcripts and conducting background research on the memoirists. Sheila Ouellette, Carol Bennett, Aaron Linder, Duane McFall and many others provided encouragement and assistance along the way. Thanks to all!

St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000